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State Budget Passes House

Capitol Ideas is reporting that the Pennsylvania State Budget has passed the house. One thing of note for our issue:

But Democratic leaders balked after getting an earful from rank-and-file Democrats earlier in the week. And they moved to drop unpopular proposals to impose the state sales tax on arts and theater tickets, as well as a proposal for a 20 percent levy on small games of chance operated by private clubs and fraternal organizations.

Most shooting clubs that I know of run small games of chance, and would typically qualify as private clubs or fraternal organizations. These are critical fundraising tools for many of those types of organizations, so this might be something we need to get involved with. I will try to report on this further.

BTW, Capitol Ideas has been doing a bang up job of covering the Pennsylvania budget fiasco in Harrisburg. Both on the blog and on Twitter. For those of you not in Pennsylvania, we are the only state without a budget currently. This has been dragging out for weeks, with both sides unable to come up with a deal. Rendell was late delivering the budget to begin with, and has been a constant wrench in the works. At this point I think the Dems just want to pass a budget and move on. The question is whether the Republican controlled Senate will feel so obliged.

4 Responses to “State Budget Passes House”

  1. Justin Buist says:

    “For those of you not in Pennsylvania, we are the only state without a budget currently. “

    Not quite. Michigan doesn’t have a budget passed either. We’re currently operating on a 30 day plan that was enacted after a short 2 hour shutdown of the state government. I suspect we’ll see another shutdown of the state government like we did 2 year ago before they finally agree on a budget.

    • Bitter says:

      You’re still ahead of us, Justin. PA legally can’t spend money unless they’ve passed a budget. So state workers – troopers, prison guards, liquor store clerks – weren’t getting paid for a while. Then the Dept. of Labor stepped in when someone filed a complaint since the workers were expected to still show up as though they were being paid. At that point, they pretty much passed a temporary measure to only pay staff and some bills. Many of the social service groups that support the state programs have been going without funds, cities with get partial school funds from the state have gotten bupkis, counties which provide shared services haven’t seen a dime. Rendell wants to use them all as his pawns in the battle, so he vetoed pretty much anything from the temporary measure that wouldn’t get the state sued by the feds.

  2. We need to get this budget passed, and now. If we don’t, all of the other legislation that’s being held up because of the budget (like the Stand Your Ground / civil immunity bill) will wind up getting tabled AGAIN this year.

  3. Dano says:

    and let us not forget another boost in the cigarette tax… $.25 a pack this year.

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